A Spark of Joy by Lea Darragh
Sometimes life is bigger than what you want.
Seeking a change of pace to mend her bruised heart, Olivia Cooper upends her life and moves halfway across the world. Landing in coastal Cobblers Cove, she’s determined to not repeat the past … no longer will she search for the happy-ever-after cliche of marriage and babies.
Successful photographer Josh Fraser is the perfect distraction. Josh has been avoiding all of the big things in life, and his quiet solitude intrigues Olivia. She successfully coaxes him out from behind his camera, but after a gorgeous night together they are left grappling with their choices.
When fate brings them together again eight months later, they must face up to the consequences of their actions. In order to be the best they can be for the future, they will have to delve deep into their fears and possibly, possibly, fit all of their broken pieces into place. Sometimes, pure joy is found beyond your greatest fear.
I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley and here is my honest review. I am so sorry to do this to a book, but no no no. Slight spoiler, but you can infer by the description of a surprise happening 8 months later, it is an unplanned pregnancy.
Olivia is going it alone for awhile after Josh disappears after their night together. He then shows up to the shock of his life. I understand that it wasn’t something he expected and it will take some getting use to, but I really dislike Josh, he is an awful person. I get he has some abandonment issues that he needs to work out, but he is so immature and Olivia just enabled it.
Olivia literally tells him it is okay to be wishy washy about being a father; that he can try it out and if he doesn’t think fatherhood is for him, then okay. Then, proceeds to walk on eggshells around him so she doesn’t spook him. I am all for women empowerment and yes, single parents are literally superheroes, but Josh is a father whether he is ready or not. He literally keeps abandoning her and running away and everyone is making excuses for him. I literally wanted to smack Olivia and be like, dude, you deserve someone who doesn’t have one foot out the door already and you don’t have to worry about leaving you in a few months time.
I get that parenthood isn’t for everyone, but once you decide, it needs to be all in or all out. The back and forth is ridiculous and I lost all respect for Josh’s character. It is absolutely not fair for anyone to be strung along on highs and lows like that and for Josh to do that to his partner while she was literally days away from giving birth? Nope.
I am so sorry for the negative review, because I had really high hopes when I first started it. The first chapter literally reads like a Hallmark movie and I thought the characters were so sweet and thoughtful and respectful. Unfortunately my opinion changed as I read on. Clearly, I have strong opinions on the subject so maybe if you don’t share my opinions, you would enjoy this book? The writing was nice and it was set in Australia, so that was fun with the different English expressions, but I can’t get past the characters. If you would like to try this book out, it is available on December 12, and you can purchase it through a variety of platforms here.